Expectations

When I signed with my publisher, I expected the sun to shine a little brighter. I expected my bathroom to clean itself and the laundry to disappear. I expected my kids to stop talking back to their mother, the published author. Oh and I for sure thought I would never have to plunge another toilet.

Lo and behold, none of those things happened. I still tell people way too many times a day to get their hands out of their pants. I burn cookies and mess up dinner in the crockpot. My life changed for half a second when I yelled, “Woohoo,” and then it returned to its regularly scheduled programming.

I just thought things would be different because I’d accomplished a lifelong dream. I did it. I finished that journey. I thought there would be constant joy and little or no frustration. I kept thinking, “As soon as I publish my books I will have the perfect life.” But what I wasn’t seeing was I already have the perfect life. I’m surrounded by people I love. People who inspire me and make me a better person-especially the four freckled Farleys who make my heart swell each hour of the day. My work…each one of my jobs…is rewarding and fulfilling. I also realized that the journey, the actually writing of my books, has brought me as much or even more joy than seeing them in your hands. I love getting lost in a world of fiction that I’ve created. In fact, I’ve realized I feel out of sorts when I’m not writing.

And then this morning, I read a fantastic piece by the always illuminating Momastery and my eyes opened a little wider. I have what I want and the quest for more, the search for the feeling of accomplishment, is what probably causes me the most angst. I’ve always had it all…now I just know it.

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It’s official!

Booktrope has re-released my second book, The New Ever After. My head’s spinning and my feet aren’t quite touching the ground. To top it all off, my fabulous publicist just wrote a press release about my upcoming book signing at Barnes and Noble. Yes, Barnes and Noble, the bookstore I used to visit in Greenwich Village with my Dad. So I’m filled with gratitude and love. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The New Ever After

Heather Meadows has been given a second chance at happiness. When her first husband passed away, she never thought she’d love again but a fortuitous meeting with a charming author changed the course of her life — in more ways than one. Thanks to the love and support of her sexy new partner, the mother of three became a mother of five and embarked on a promising career as a writer. But despite her newfound joy, her fast-paced life begins to take its toll.

The New Ever After is a tale of friendship, sacrifice, do overs, and making it work.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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Yuck, yuck and yuck

Dear Adam,

I am an adoring fan. Quite possibly one of your biggest fans, I mean who else has written a whole series of books about you? As far as I know…no one else! I’ve seen you in concert. I have multiple copies of your Sexiest Man Alive cover sitting on my desk. My kids fear I’ll meet you and never come home. I get texts, emails and phone calls from dozens of people every time you’re on television. Basically, I’m your girl and you’re my guy.

Except, I don’t like your new video, Animals. Actually, I hate your new video. I was so grossed out by it I had to stop watching and that says a lot coming from your number 1 fan. I watched until you were hanging out with all that meat(I am a quasi-vegetarian but that’s not why it bugged me.). The video made me think you must have an evil twin brother because the Adam I know with the witty banter on the Voice would never ever make something like that. And isn’t it also being used in a Kia video with some hamster-y looking things? You’re sending some mixed messages and I’m not even talking about the stalker issues the video brings up.

Yes, I know no publicity is bad publicity and this was a highly creative endeavor but the images that keep popping up all over the internet are making me want to turn in my I-Love-Adam-Levine badge. Promise you’ll make something a little more tame for all the over forty soccer moms who drool over you? Thanks!

Eternally yours(unless you make another freaky video),
Julie
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Just go do it

I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am to have last week behind me. It was one of those weeks that kept leaving me saying, “what the heck?” Honestly, those weren’t the words I was using by Friday. We began the week waiting for lab results for the kids. Gigs presented with an enlarged and lumpy thyroid at her physical the Thursday before so she had to have a battery of tests done to figure out what was going on. All of the labs came back fine, which was good but left us wondering what was causing the mysterious thyroid issues. So off we went to a specialist. Many of you know the saga that took place that afternoon but I’m not sure it’s appropriate for public consumption on the blog. Suffice it to say, we are still working on the thyroid issues and I’ve realized it’s never the stuff you’re actually worrying about that you should be worrying about. That’s a mouthful but oh so true.

Friday morning brought my annual mammogram. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy…or so I thought. After the first mammogram I was lucky enough to get called back for a second look. And then a 3D mammogram. And finally an ultrasound. I started to get teary during one of the waits in the waiting room. My nerves shattered and I was filled with thoughts wondering what they were looking at on the big screens in the back room. But Maroon 5 came on the overhead speakers and I started to laugh. And my chuckle reminded me that I can tackle what ever I’m handed. I’m tough. I’m resourceful and resilient. The kind ultrasound tech was the first to soothe my nerves and tell me she thought it was a large, clear cyst. The doctor came in minutes later and confirmed the diagnosis. He mentioned cysts can be from consuming too much caffeine. I snapped back and told him I had four kids and caffeine was my lifeline. I left and found some comfort in an iced venti nonfat chai.

We, the Farleys, have been faced with several annoying medical issues lately. Although, much of it has been nothing compared to things I’ve watched some go through. All of the issues have stemmed from routine checks. In this month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I want to remind you to have your mammogram. While you’re scheduling it call your dermatologist make that appointment. Make all your appointments. Do whatever you can. It’s scary, like spine numbing scary, but the alternative is a thousand times worse. You can do this…no matter what this is. boob

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My thoughts from a middle school parking lot

I believe having a conversation face to face is best. I believe using a pencil and paper beats any technology. I believe creativity is stifled by our reliance on computers. I believe we are too connected. I believe limiting screen time is the only way. I believe my kids learn more when they play mancala or Sleeping Queens rather than playing a game on my iPad. I believe the sweetest words in the English language are Hi Mommy. I believe we should bow down to the teachers who are constantly forced to implement new and sometimes inane programs into their classroom while having to meet and exceed expectations. I believe there are many ways to do things but should be only one way to add 3+2. I believe Steve jobs was onto something when he didn’t give his kids i-devices. I believe there’s nothing more beautiful than words written on paper and bound together by thread. I believe we worry about all the wrong things. I believe the thousandth kiss is as magical as the first. I believe there is magic in beginnings and you can find some in endings too. I believe happily ever afters are alive and well. I believe in another tomorrow.

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Big Day

Publishing my first book on my own was a monumental accomplishment for me. My journey through the world of self publishing was filled with excitement and a steep learning curve. But I’m over-the-moon that I’ve taken the next steps on this road and signed with a publisher, Booktrope. This week Booktrope re-released Tripped Up Love. It has a fresh new look inside and out. You can buy it on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble. And you know what? Since book one is re-released and book two is about to be re-released…that means book three is very close to being in your hands. I hope you fall in love with the story…for the first or second time!tulnewcover

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Travel in time with a new book

Arielle Immortal Fury, the long-awaited sixth volume in the Immortal Rapture Series by Lilian Roberts, is finally published! The steamy paranormal romance series follows college co-ed Arielle Lloyd and her immortal fiance Sebastian Gaulle. In the sixth book, Sebastian responds to threats against his beloved, proving that hell hath no fury like an Immortal.

About Arielle Immortal Fury

A memory of love…

 

On her return to the present from a time-travel journey to eighteenth-century Calais, France, college co-ed Arielle Lloyd anticipates a joyful welcome from her immortal fiancé, Sebastian Gaulle. She is stunned to discover that he doesn’t remember their time together there and wonders, has she lost him forever?

 

Danger from afar…

 

As Sebastian tries to shake loose his disturbing memories and solve the enigma of Arielle’s haunting eyes, the Russian Mafia ups the stakes in their deadly game to steal crucial documents from his company. Then an envelope arrives with photos of Arielle. The message is clear: if Sebastian fails to meet their demands, his love will pay the price with her life.

 

A love across all time…

 

Sebastian and his associates join forces with Interpol in a race to thwart the Russians’ plans. In the global battle, the Russians have made a serious mistake. They have threatened the beloved of an indestructible immortal, a woman Sebastian only now realizes he has loved across the centuries.

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

 

About Lilian Roberts

 

Lilian Roberts is a corporate engineer. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and their golden retriever. She is an avid reader and loves novels that feature characters draped in passion, mystery, and adventure. She is especially fascinated with the concept of immortality.

Arielle Immortal Fury Front Cover

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Speed

Sometimes I speed through things. I rush. I don’t look. That’s not true. Really, I look beyond whatever’s in front of me and on to the next thing pointing my eyes away from the object that’s staring me down. I speed through uncomfortable situations pushing on to the next item on the agenda. Moving quickly gives me the blindspots I crave. Speed paints a blurry picture of the truth. Add a little busy-ness and I don’t have to sit with the elephant in the room.

Right now, I’m running from the mirror. I cover my head up with the towel after my shower and then toss my bangs down as soon as I can. Then the wind catches me and makes me remember it’s about to expose the red lines on my forehead. So my legs battle the wind and carry me away faster.

But sometimes I can’t take the speed and I need to sit and absorb. To face the music. To look in the mirror. To stare at the truth. And I sit and I look and I memorize what it looks like so it can’t take me by surprise. Inevitably it still does. I see it when I least expect to and it cuts right through me.

I get that it’s a scar and in the grand scheme of this life, the life I’m watching play out in front of me, it’s no big deal. But I hate it and I can’t help it and I keep moving faster so I never have to see it…and then, neither do you.

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The Paradox of Living With a Teenager

First of all, don’t tell him I’m writing this. I teased him and told him I was going to blog about finding him a homecoming date and he didn’t think that was so funny. I don’t think he’s that into his romance writer mom sharing stories about him but this isn’t about him…it’s kind of about me. And really isn’t most of what I write inherently self centered?

I don’t get to see him that much anymore. He’s playing volleyball and travel baseball. When he isn’t busy with those he’s holed up in his room overwhelmed with homework from two AP classes(or maybe he’s just hiding from the mayhem that is now homework time at the Farley kitchen table.).  There are some days that I want to keep him up there, maybe lock him in his third floor room and make him stay there until he grows his hair long enough so he can “Rapunzel” his way out. Those are the days when I can apparently do nothing right. I bought the wrong color Powerade or I haven’t bought any good snacks. I ask too many questions or I never listen. I didn’t get printer ink fast enough or anticipate he would need a box of forty-eight cookies delivered to school at 4:30. Or maybe my eyes blinked twenty-seven times in a minute and he only wanted them to blink thirteen times.  You get the picture…there are days when it is impossible to do anything right for a teenager. Then there are the days I have to ask him a dozen times to empty the dishwasher or to pick his dirty socks off of the floor and I get an angry growl as a response.

Fortunately, there are enough days sprinkled throughout the year when I want to shrink this 6 ft 1 inch giant down into a baby and cuddle him like I used to only while I snuggle with him I want the funny repartee that has blossomed between us rather than the coos of the baby. So I walk on the eggshells that are constantly scattered along the path of my days and I try to be that mom he can talk to. The one who can relate to him and listen without judging. The one who ends up being his biggest cheerleader(even if I have to cheer silently) and simultaneously his punching bag. Inevitably, I start to feel like I’m on solid ground and I say something stupid and hurry up and backpedal before I destroy the moment. Lately it seems I take one step forward and three steps back. Thankfully, every once in a while I get a text from him as I’m reading in bed. A text thanking me for something, sometimes requesting something and once even telling me he doesn’t want to go away to college in three years and leave us. And I get that warm and fuzzy positive reinforcement reminding me I will make it through these teenage years.

Volumes are written about raising teenagers but nothing can adequately prepare you for it until you have one breathing down your neck. Every morning I wake not knowing which side of the bed he’ll roll out of but I fall asleep being filled with gratitude for every moment I’ve had with him, the words(kind and even unpleasant) we’ve exchanged, the thoughtful conversations or the occasional interest in my work….and always oh-so-thankful I have a teenaged boy to learn the ropes with before my little girl becomes a hormonal teenager of her own.IMG_3058

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Eleven things I know

1. Sleeping with my three little people in my bed is equally the most precious and torturous thing I can do.

2. Finishing a tall, no longer hot, non-fat chai at 8:30 pm is never a good idea…ever even if I have four reasons/excuses for the chai in the first place. (double rainy soccer games, big guys at a baseball tourney, internal stitches popping out of my forehead, and a fifteen-year-old two hundred miles away requesting a traditional Arab outfit by Monday for a presentation….geesh, I should have chosen vodka and not chai!)

3. Silence scares me. Like really scares me so much that I continually start talking before the other person is finished. But it’s in that silence that I find the joy, the fear and even the anger.

4. I need more silence.

5. There is no threshold for goodness and pure kindness.

6. Naked, dancing seven-year-old brothers simultaneously elicit laughter and screams of inappropriateness from older and same-aged sisters.

7. The difference between Mars and Venus is crystal clear when watching U8 girls soccer and U8 boys soccer in the same day.

8. My house will never ever be clean even if I find more hours in the day. Perfection is overrated anyway.

9. It’s a little creepy that the new U2 album is on all of our iphones whether we want it to be or not. And I think I prefer the old-fashioned way to buy U2 albums…at the music store at midnight with all of my college buddies. But I still like U2 and I wish I could convince Apple to push my books onto phones on the cloud in the same way.

10. “What if I fall?”  “Oh but my darling, what if you fly?” ~Erin Hanson I used to(like yesterday) think that I needed to have this tattooed to my eyelids. But now I’m ready to fly even if I end up failing in the process.

11. When the sun peeks above the horizon, I will feel very sorry I didn’t sleep longer.

 

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